3. The belief that the church’s “glory days” are in the past.
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches, for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.” (Isaiah 43.19-21″>Isaiah 43:19-21 ESV)
Some of us do not like new things. Some of us are like Israel and we would like to think that nothing could ever beat the first exodus.
But God does new things.
The power of the resurrection can be on display in a church if it will expect, prepare and proclaim it. The hope of the resurrection is all about life coming from death. Looking to the past for life is as empty and powerless as looking to the crucifixion for life.
If a church is all about the “good old days” like unbelieving Israel, they will probably not recognize the Messiah if he comes.
4. The belief that I can retire from local church ministry.
I have to admit that this one is tough because some older people in churches feel displaced by the energy and vision of youth. This can turn into a war between young and old.
If the older, more seasoned saints in a church would deliberately decide to adopt a missionary heart toward their church’s youth and replace this new heart with their opinions concerning the younger generations, just imagine the outcome.
Don’t retire from the body; go on mission instead.
5. The belief that compassion is a dangerous weakness.
“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9.35-38″>Matthew 9:35-38 NIV)
Many times, we can be moved with compassion over a person we do not know. It is more difficult, though, when we know a person.
It’s easier to build a case against helping them because we could easily say something like, “Well, they made that bed; time to lie in it.”
Did Jesus NOT know the people he was ministering to? Why did God redeem us and reconcile us to himself in Christ rather than destroy us? God knew His compassion for us would result in the cross, resurrection and the death of death (Hebrews 12:2)?